The best people serving the hub of the north

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COMPRISING 25 suburbs surrounding the Belconnen town centre and Ginninderra Lake, Belconnen is the most populated district of the ACT.

Originally farming land, Belconnen was developed in 1966, with Aranda as its first suburb.

Now, Belconnen as we know it, is a thriving hub for north Canberrans, with so much to offer residents and visitors.

Lake Ginninderra College students learn more about recycling.


College sets the pace with new, modern courses

LAKE Ginninderra College is continuing to do lots of great things but it’s just doing them better, says deputy principal Gerard Barrett.

“For example, we have new courses in physical education and outdoor education,” he says.

“The new courses emphasise things that are important now. One of the new courses is called ‘health and wellbeing’ and has a higher emphasis on the health side of things and looks into mental health as well.”

And, because Lake Ginninderra College has recognised experts in these areas, Gerard says staff have played a role in writing these courses.

“Our teachers are very active in playing a part in the renewal of courses,” he says.

“And generally when people have more ownership they’re more motivated to do it well.”

The college also has a range of new and updated courses in IT with courses which focus on cyber security and the science of dealing with data.

But it’s not just the teachers who get to take ownership, and Gerard says Lake Ginninderra College engages with students to find out what they want.

This year, he says, a group of socially conscious students, with a passion for recycling, wanted to do more around waste and together, with teachers, developed a new recycling program for next year.

“We’re looking at mixed recyclables and we’re trying to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill,” he says.

UC Senior Secondary College Lake Ginninderra, 2 Emu Bank, Belconnen. Call 6142 0222, email or visit

School thrives on community links

SITUATED on Lhotsky Street in Charnwood, the parish school of St Thomas Aquinas West Belconnen shares its strong community feel with its surrounding suburbs, says principal Cameron Johns.

“We’re an inclusive school, open to all students and we’re all about raising students’ achievements, whether they’re academic, social or sporting,” he says.

“We have a diverse learning team and the teachers work with all students, whether they’re gifted, find learning hard or are somewhere in between.”

And, as part of St Thomas Aquinas’ “community feel”, it does its best to engage the parent community and give them a say, too.

St Thomas Aquinas is modelled after its patron saint of the same name, who is the saint for education and learning.

This is why St Thomas Aquinas caters for a diverse range of learning needs and offers lunchtime clubs such as STEM clubs, book clubs, chess clubs and art clubs.

St Thomas Aquinas has a specialist sports teacher, music teacher and a Spanish teacher for all years.

St Thomas Aquinas Primary School, 25 Lhotsky Street, Charnwood. Call 6258 4077 or visit

Expert help with hay fever

MY Medical Practice in Charnwood has seen a surge of patients who suffer from hay fever, says assistant director Amanda Coulton.

“Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is quite common during this time of the year with all the different grasses and pollens more prevalent in the air,” she says.

“Hay fever may present differently in each person and some people may not even know it’s hay fever they are suffering from.

“[And] although there is no cure for hay fever, we can treat the symptoms.

“If you aren’t getting the relief you need from over-the-counter medications from your pharmacy, and symptoms are continuing, please come and see one our doctors.

“There are a variety of options our doctors are happy to discuss with you.”

Amanda says there is also a website (, which provides daily updates of the pollen count in the ACT.

But, My Medical Practice in Charnwood doesn’t just see people with hay fever and, Amanda says, they aim to take the financial burden from pensioners, families and students with their bulk-billing services.

“We’re unlike other bulk-billing practices, we pride ourselves on our customer service and putting our patients first,” she says.

My Medical Practice, 7 Charnwood Place, Charnwood. Call 6258 0006 or search @MyMedicalCharnwood on Facebook.

After-hours opening to help clients

FOLLOWING a growing demand from people wanting appointments after work hours, CARM Therapies is now staying open later to meet those needs, says owner Emily Avery.

CARM Therapies director Emily Avery.

“Too many people just can’t get out of work, so we’re listening to our clients and we’re now staying open after work hours and on Saturday,” she says.

Clients who come in during the extended hours are likely to meet CARM Therapies’ new team member, Caitlin, who Emily describes as a great and caring remedial massage therapist.

“Remedial massage therapy helps with muscle tension from the stress of long work hours, increased computer-based work and helps people who are trying to fit a lot into their life, which could lead to aches and pains,” she says.

As for how often people need remedial massage therapy, Emily says that depends on the person and their reason for the remedial massage.

“We try to find a balance for the person that works for their lifestyle and what they need and want,” she says.

“Our catchphrase is: ‘Acupuncture and remedial massage for chronic pain, pregnancy and general wellbeing.’

“CARM Therapies is about treating the person holistically, not just looking at the problems, but the person as a whole.”

CARM Therapies. 5 Higgins Shops, Higgins. Call 6278 7302 or visit

Bookkeepers making sense of Uber issues

JOHN Scarano, of JS Bookkeeping and Accounting Services, has been asking some of his Uber-driving clients: “Is it still worthwhile?”

John Scarano of JS Bookkeeping and Accounting Services.

“We look after a few clients that drive Uber cars and over the last four years there’s been a number of tax office discussions with Uber,” he says.

“Last year the schedules and the numbers of the drivers given are different than previously, in that it now includes GST.

“If they’re not up-to-date with the current changes they could be over-claiming GST or not transmitting enough GST to the tax office.

“If they don’t get proper advice the tax office always tends to do audits on not just Uber drivers but also people in the transport industry.

“There is some confusion with drivers as to what they can and can’t claim and we’re happy to assist them with questions.”

But John, who has been an accountant for more than 35 years, doesn’t just work with Uber drivers and says he particularly enjoys working with small businesses.

“I enjoy helping them start up correctly, choose the right business structure and I enjoy assisting them in deciding which accounting software they can or should use,” he says.

“And I make sure I talk at their level to make things easier.”

JS Bookkeeping and Accounting Services, Unit 2, Hawker Professional Centre, 134 Hawker Place, Hawker. Call 6255 3555


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